A growing concern is the presence of residual
pesticides in our food. With rapid technological
developments in farming, most farmers use chemical
pesticides to yield greater crop output and prevent
insect damage, fungal attacks and the growth of
weeds, all of which can be lethal to the crop.
Unfortunately, these pesticides pose a greater
risk to our health. Many contain harmful toxins,
which seep into farm products and ultimately into
the food we eat.
Many of the commonly used chemical pesticides
are known carcinogens and can cause cancer over
extended periods of time. Some toxins found in
pesticides are also estrogen simulators, known
as xenoestrogens, and can cause hormonal imbalance.
Consumption of these pesticides can also cause
skin ailments as well as neurological disorders.
In addition to harming our bodies, the use of
pesticides is also one of the major causes of
water pollution. Pesticides that fail to get into
plants, end up in soil and ultimately reach the
groundwater. Alachlor (Lasso), Ethylcnc Dibromide,
Metolachlor (Dual), DCPA (Dacthal) and Butylate
(Sutan) are among the common toxic pesticides
commonly found in water.
how do we ensure pesticides do not find their
way into the food we eat? The United States Government
has in place a number of laws and regulatory bodies
to help control and regulate the use of pesticides.
These bodies include the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In addition, The Stockholm Convention, signed
in 2004 by 150 countries along with the United
States, bans the use of many Persistent Organic
The permissible limit of toxic residue in food
is also set at much lower levels than even the
No Toxic Effect Level (NOEL), usually 10 to 100
times lower. When there is no way to estimate
the NOEL for a pesticide, the specific pesticide
is not used.
In North America and in Europe, people are looking
for healthier alternatives to eating. These alternatives
includes organic, all-natural, and pesticide-free
foods. Organic farming and gardening makes use
of products and methods to curb insect and weed
infestation that do not require the use of chemical
pesticides. All-natural beef is very popular in
the United States because it is free of the excessive
amounts of hormones and antibiotics typically
found in cattle.
While most organic foods are 100% pesticide free,
some do contain limited amounts of pesticides.
In these cases, the best solution to rid your
foods of contamination is to soak your vegetables
in water containing a small amount of vinegar.
Be sure to thoroughly rinse the food prior to
eating it. In addition, make sure you peel all
fruits and vegetables. If possible, grow your
own vegetables and fruit; otherwise, try to buy
locally sourced organic produce and all-nature,
free-range animal products.